Dutch Maid Logistics -- Orientation/Training

Topic 31154 | Page 3

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Kerry L.'s Comment
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It's getting real for me now.

After being unloaded in Syracuse, NY, I drive to the location of our next pickup: West Seneca, NY. On the way there, my trainer is trying to figure out why I have so little time left to drive.

On the way to our pickup, I get lost a bit and end up going down a narrow road that leads to a "no trucks" road. I pull over before getting to the "no trucks" road when a firefighter pulls over to ask if I am lost, to which I say yes. He says, "Well, you are committed now," and then explains how to get to the road we need. I didn't realize yet that the road I was on led to a "no trucks" road. Thankfully I am able to get to the address without being pulled over.

When we arrive at the location in West Seneca, NY, trainer is looking at my hours on ELD. It is my 14-hour clock that is almost out. I remind him that I went on duty at 01:30 to back the trailer into the dock to be unloaded. He responded that I then set the ELD to sleeper berth. I then reminded him that this doesn't stop the 14-hour clock (6 hours in sleeper berth status. My trainer is convinced that anytime the ELD is put in sleeper berth that this stops the 14-hour clock. I have a hell of a time backing the trailer into the dock at this location. I end up getting help from my trainer and another trucker who has been on the road for 34 years. My trainer has told me that he wants me to use a ball attached to the steering wheel to steer. The other trucker told him that is a big mistake because it is causing me to oversteer.

I didn't argue and just accepted that it was not going to be a battle worth fighting. After being loaded in West Seneca, NY, trainer leaves ít up to me to decide whether or not to drive out the remaining 48 minutes of my clock. I decide to make use of the time to get as much drive time in as I can. We are headed to Bedford Heights, OH. Oh, up to this point, trainer is giving me stern instruction on my turns (rightfully so) and to my surprise he compliments me that they are improving.

We stop at a service center on I-90 at mile marker 447 to switch driving. When we arrive in Bedford Heights, OH to drop our load, I realize something quite troubling: my trainer doesn't know what to do when his GPS isn't reliable. GPS takes us to the physical address listed for the consignee. There is a sign indicating that trucks are to enter from a different street. My trainer is using his trucker GPS to try to figure out how to get to the entrance for trucks. I am able to find the street on Google Maps and use his atlas to verify that there are no restricted roads about which to be concerned. I have to provide him with point-by-point directions to get him to this location.

Well, the consignee informs us that this is a live load for the next morning, even though the load information provided us by Dutch Maid indicated that it is a drop and hook. After several minutes, dispatch tells us to drop the load at a drop yard a few miles away. Trailer dropped, we are then given instruction on picking up a load, which will be dropped at the Dutch Maid terminal. Another driver is bringing a load to Dutch Maid for us to pick up and deliver. It is a 3-stop load going to Michigan.

On the way to Dutch Maid, trainer says that I should be getting hours back soon to be able to run the load to Michigan. I tell him that I am exhausted and haven't really slept. His driving is such that I would never consider getting in the top bunk while he moves us down the road. Nope, no thank you. It's like he wants to team the loads, but I am still trying to learn some very basic things. He then says that we can get a little bit of sleep at Dutch Maid, he will run the first two deliveries for the Michigan load and then I can do the last. I agree that it will work. To my surprise, my trainer is talking to his wife a bit later about his trainee and mentioning how well I am doing. Apparently, he has had some bad trainees. He mentions about the Michigan load and that I am just not there yet in being able to run hard like that (which I believe is totally accurate).

Well, 15 miles from the Dutch Maid terminal , the truck begins shutting down as all kinds of warnings pop up. Tractor won't pull at all. This is my trainer driving because I am still out of hours at this point. He calls the shop and they have him do a couple of troubleshooting steps. Still not working. He decides to get out because he said it feels like the trailer is being dragged. Well, we have one of the tractor super single tires completely GONE. It's just the rim with no tire at all. I don't know a lot about these things, but doesn't it require driving quite a distance to lose the ENTIRE tire?

We put out our triangles and prepare ourselves to wait on road side service. Well, because of the way the truck was acting, the company has decided to tow the vehicle in, rather than sending road side service to fix a tire that may or may not get the truck running again. So, spending the night on US-224 near Ruggles, OH.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Kerry L.'s Comment
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We put out our triangles and prepare ourselves to wait on road side service. Well, because of the way the truck was acting, the company has decided to tow the vehicle in, rather than sending road side service to fix a tire that may or may not get the truck running again. So, spending the night on US-224 near Ruggles, OH.

Trainer told me that we were probably going to get towed in. Ended up having a new tire put on right on the side of the road, which is what I had expected.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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Baited breath...hope all worked out, man.

As we wait, and pray!

~ Anne & Tom ~

Kerry L.'s Comment
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Alright, so my trainer and I got back to the Dutch Maid terminal without further issue at like 2 am. I slept in the top bunk as he pulled us in. At some point after that, he crashed out. We didn't have another load planned for us because of the tire issue, so trainer let me sleep without waking me up. I finally got up at around 12:00. After showering and eating, trainer called into dispatch to get our next load assignment. There is a trailer at the terminal needing to be taken to Streetsboro, OH drop yard. Then dispatcher suggests a load going from Streetsboro, OH to Lewiston, ME with a delivery time about 36 hours later. My trainer wanted to decline it at first, but then I think he realizes that this would be good experience for me.

Streetsboro drop load is taken care of, then pick up the load to Lewiston, ME. I still have about 9 hours of drive time left, so I am ready to hit it. I drive 3:00 then 3 minute break. I use this opportunity to show my trainer that going "sleeper berth" does not stop a 14-hour clock once started. He always tells me to go sleeper berth with anything other than fueling and pre-trip. I do as I am told. But, I wanted my trainer to be able to see that he doesn't have the correct understanding of what logging time in the sleeper berth does. When break was over, I logged into "on-duty." I showed him on the graph on ELD how much time I had left of my 14-hour on-duty time before the break and after. 14-hour clock didn't stop simply because I was logged into sleeper. He still doesn't believe me. I feel like I need to talk to the training manager at Dutch Maid because my trainer is giving every driver he trains this same misinformation about sleeper berth time, no natter how short, stopping 14-hour clock.

Anyway, back on the road and driving. After the break, trainer decides to take a nap. I thought the nap became full on sleep in his bunk. With 1:30 left of ny drive time, he asks if I am tired. "I am good." Well, I found out that he wasn't sleeping. He awoke from his nap and wanted to see how I would drive without me knowing that he is paying attention. He told me that he saw me doing everything that I should be doing for the conditions.

Trainer is already talking about the last few hours if my training being teaming. He told me that usually trainees/trainers get one run out to California and that if I continue progressing, we may be able to start teaming soon enough to get two runs out to California.

So, I make the decision that I want to keep running until I get within 30 minutes of my clock expiration. Wrong decision. At this point, I am on I-84 having just entered Connecticut. It is 01:30. We had just past the only truck stop that can be reached with my clock. That truck stop was probably full anyway. No rest areas along this section of I-84 where I am driving. I find a place to pull over so that my trainer can get us to a place to park. Find a rest area a few miles north of route 322. Completely full, so trainer parks along entrance ramp to the highway. Here is the real problem:

My trainer will not allow me to take the time to trip plan and determine where we will stop. If I try trip planning, he gets belligerent and aggressive. I just go with what he says because it's not my truck and he is the trainer.

360 more miles to drive tomorrow. We'll see how things go in not being allowed to trip plan anything.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Kandyman's Comment
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Can you trip plan while in sleeper? If they are not short runs?

Kerry L.'s Comment
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Can you trip plan while in sleeper? If they are not short runs?

Yes, I can. I actually did that earlier this morning before going to sleep when we stopped.

Kandyman's Comment
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I recall when I was trucking on 05-06 no one trip planned or did any sort of pre-trip. I would love to know how many actually drivers actually pre-trip. I always checked brakes lights etc Prob a 60% pre-trip

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

Can you trip plan while in sleeper? If they are not short runs?

double-quotes-end.png

Yes, I can. I actually did that earlier this morning before going to sleep when we stopped.

You should re'name your diary: "Training the Trainer!" Haha!

Keep on, man. Always following.

~ Anne (&Tom!) ~

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Davy A.'s Comment
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Thats odd about the sleeper berth issue. Is there confusion on split berth? Meaning perhaps he just isnt communicating that it will move your 14 hour clock or pause it so to speak after 2/3 with 7/8 following, or does he think anytime you hit sleeper berth, no matter how short, it pauses it?

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Kerry L.'s Comment
member avatar

Thats odd about the sleeper berth issue. Is there confusion on split berth? Meaning perhaps he just isnt communicating that it will move your 14 hour clock or pause it so to speak after 2/3 with 7/8 following, or does he think anytime you hit sleeper berth, no matter how short, it pauses it?

It certainly is possible that I am misunderstanding him, but he basically told me to always change my status to sleeper berth if I am doing anything other than fueling or pre-trip. He said that this preserves my 14-hour clock. He couldn't understand why this didn't happen when we were detained at a receiver for 6 hours. He expected that I would still have that time available on my 14-hour clock.

I have 0 complaints about my trainer because I am learning what I personally need to learn. I fully understand how to utilize my clock, so that's not really a concern. I am sufficient at trip planning, so I have no concerns that he doesn't like to do trip planning.

My driving, backing, and the ELD are the things where I really need the work and these are areas where my trainer is excellent. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I was put with him to be trained.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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